If you want to get crafty in the East Bay, there is no lack of options to do so. But if you truly want to learn the art of sewing, head to Apparel Arts in downtown Oakland, which offers a certificate program as well as individual classes for those who want to make clothes as either a career or bona fide hobby. Compared to fashion degrees at bigger institutions, Apparel Arts is a far more flexible and affordable program, offering various ongoing classes to fit your schedule and month-to-month tuition, so there's no big commitment upfront. The foundation of the program is a 24- to 30-month intensive patternmaking and design class, which goes over all the fundamentals and culminates in an eight-piece collection. The course is self-paced, so you can join at any time, and the knowledgeable instructors provide one-on-one attention. There are also classes on menswear, draping, fashion illustration, and even swimwear. If you've been putting off your dream, Apparel Arts is an excellent excuse to stop doing so.